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Title: Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of quaternary sedimentation in Eastern Sri Lanka: an Ichnological study
Authors: Adikaram, A.M.N.M.
Pitawala, H.M.T.G.A.
Ishiga, H.
Jayawardhane, D.T.
Keywords: Paleoenvironmental reconstruction
Eastern Sri Lanka
Ichnological study
Issue Date: Jan-2017
Publisher: Springer publication
Citation: Journal Geological Society of India, 89: 71-76.
Abstract: Quaternary sediment deposits are well exposed along the eastern coastal margin of Sri Lanka. Systematic trace fossil studies along with sediment characteristics have been carried out for the first time to interpret the paleoenvironment that prevailed during Quaternary sedimentation in eastern Sri Lanka. The trace fossils Thalassinoides, Skolithos and Polykladichnus have been recognized about 5m above the present mean sea level. Features of the major trace fossil, Thalassinoides, indicate that it was formed by Thalassinidean shrimp Calianassa. Isolated, vertical to steeply inclined, cylindrical to sub cylindrical tubes with thin internal wall lining and inner wall striations of Skolithos and Polykladichnus show that they were formed by polychaetes. The typical characteristic of Polykladichnus is Y-shaped branching with slight enlargement at junctions. Morphology and association of burrows as well as mineralogy, grain size and roundness of sediments indicate that the environment prevailed was marine soft grounds of the intertidal zone. Presence of preserved fine-scale features of burrows indicate that the bioturbated sandy tidal flat was suddenly exposed to the tropical environment due to sea level regression in Quaternary periods. Due to the microbial activities of wall linings, burrows were preserved and it was supported by other microbial activities that produced secondary iron bearing minerals that suffered subsequent oxidation. The bio-origination of red sediments of eastern coastal area of the present study can be used to interpret the debatable origin of the red beds found in northwestern and southeastern coastal areas of the island.
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